CTL Ireland

Sustainable Farming Supporter

Coachford, Ireland show on map
CTL Ireland
Coordinator | Anton
Coordinator | Anton
Support a sustainable farm and get the opportunity to help at the farm café in the nearby friendly and vibrant city of Cork. A unique way to experience authentic Ireland! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:


  • Multicultural environment with a group of international volunteers
  • Cultural immersion in Irish life with daily interactions with local people
  • Combination of rural and city environment
  • Diversity of activities and multiple learning opportunities
  • Highly experienced project mentor working with volunteers for over 20 years

Ireland is a wonderful country; it is safe, friendly, English speaking, rich in heritage, history and culture. From vibrant, exciting cities to spectacular countryside – it’s a magical place to visit. It’s also a wonderful place to stay and immerse yourself doing meaningful volunteer work.

Project Highlights:

  • Cultural immersion in Irish life with daily interactions with local people
  • Multicultural environment with a group of international volunteers
  • Combination of rural and city environment
  • Highly experienced project mentor working with volunteers for over 20 years
  • Diversity of activities and multiple learning opportunities including:
    • Sustainable farming (gardening, animal care, yogurt making etc.)
    • Dealing with the public in the café

This sustainable farming & café project is located in the heart of rural Ireland, about 45 minutes from Cork City, Ireland’s 2nd largest city. It is surrounded by picturesque countryside with rolling hills, mountains, rivers and waterfalls. The farm is focused on involving international volunteers in farming and environmental activities as well as selling farm products from local producers (vegetables, eggs, yogurt, meat, apple juice etc.) in the farm's café in Cork City a vibrant and friendly city.

The project strives to:

 - Create farming and gardening methods that sustain the natural environment 

-  Promote biodiversity in the surrounding woodlands.

-  Support local food production 

-  Maintain the heritage of an historical estate

- Create a multicultural environment where volunteers from different countries and background work and live together as a community 

  This project requires volunteers all year round.

Volunteer work:

The summer months will involve much more emphasis on outdoor and gardening activities, maintaining the vegetable garden and surrounding fields and pathways, weeding, general maintenance, much of the day will be spent outdoors. The colder winter months will include activities such as gathering firewood, maintenance of the path and the stone walls, and rainy days would be spent indoors painting, woodwork, and general house maintenance. All throughout the year, volunteer look after animals (feeding, cleaning), get involved in household duties and in making yogurt. When volunteers arrive they’re shown all the various types of work. Then they are able to decide what particular work they enjoy the most and take on a specific task. However, people may change jobs to avoid the monotony and give the volunteers the opportunity to learn about many different aspects of rural living. There are usually 4 to 10 international volunteers at the same time at the project.

Volunteers also assist in the farm’s café, which is located in Cork City centre. This part of the volunteer work is optional but most volunteers enjoy doing it for generally 2 days a week. Duties include dealing with the public, making coffee, selling local farmers' products and keeping the café clean and tidy. The cafe get generally busy on Fridays and Saturdays. Transport will be provided in and out of the city. Volunteers also share cooking and cleaning duties at the project accommodation.

The number of working hours is approximately 30-35 hours per week and is flexible from day to day. Volunteers can expect to work 5-7 hours a day on their project, 5 days a week. Volunteers are expected to be proactive on their placements, are expected to keep busy and to use their initiative. Working on a farm, they can expect to spend some time outdoors both in sunshine and in rainy/cold conditions, so appropriate clothing is essential.

The farm owner and his wife guide and support the volunteers throughout their programme. They have been welcoming and supervising volunteers for over 20 years and live in the main house with their two children. The farm owner is the main mentor and discuss with volunteers on a regular basis to discuss how they are progressing. As supervision is not always available, it is important that volunteers are able to work on their own as well as in a team. New ideas are welcome and encouraged.

Who are we looking for?

Volunteers are required to be adaptable, flexible people who like working outdoor and get their hands dirty! The must be over 18 when the project starts. They will join a group of volunteers comprised of people from different backgrounds, countries and cultures. Everyone involved in the project live as a community. One of the main goals of the project is to become aware and open to different ways of living and thinking. We are therefore looking for people who enjoy community living conditions with all its advantages (new friendships, teamwork, intercultural exchange) and disadvantages (lack of privacy, not getting on with everyone, coping with cleanliness standards of others  etc.) Volunteers need to be able to partake in teamwork, but personal motivation, maturity and responsibility are also important. Volunteers should enjoy physical outdoor work and rural living, and be prepared for simple and basic living condition and variable weather conditions, it’s often raining in Ireland!. Volunteers joining the project must have at least an intermediate level of spoken English.

Location and Transportation

The farm is situated in the county of Cork in a beautiful rural area with green fields, hills and woodlands, between Cork city and Macroom. The farm is quite isolated but volunteers have regular access to Cork City on Wednesdays to Saturdays (café opening days). Transport in and out of Cork City for work in the farm's café will be provided free of charge. Transportation to and from the Macroom bus station is guaranteed upon initial arrival and final departure from the project. Buses to Tralee, Cork and Killarney are available from Macroom, and transport to other cities is available in Cork. Bus ticket prices are subject to change, a one-way ticket from Macroom to Cork City costs around €12. 

Typical day

8.15 Breakfast

9.00 Volunteer work starts, possible activities include:

  • Gardening 
  • Feeding animals
  • Making yogurt
  • Gathering firewood
  • Building and construction of stone walls
  • Maintaining pathways

13.00 Lunch with other volunteers. 

14.00 Volunteer work continues

16.30 Volunteer ends

Free time with other international volunteers (walks, games, chat, reading etc.)

18.00 Dinner with other volunteers

Details on Arrival

2019 Arrival dates

  • January 7
  • February 4
  • March 4
  • April 8
  • May 13
  • June 10
  • July 1 
  • July 22
  • August 5
  • September 9
  • October 7
  • November 11

Arrival in Cork airport:

Participants are picked up by a driver who will be waiting with a sign displaying the participants’ name. Participants are transferred to a hostel, located in Cork city centre.


Arrival at different airport

Volunteers who arrived at a different airport (Dublin, Shannon, Kerry, Waterford) need to make their own way to Cork. It is very easy to join Cork city from Dublin airport as there are buses from just outside the arrival terminal in Dublin that go directly to Cork city centre. Detailed information on transfers to Cork will be provided by CTL Ireland.

Free-time activities

Volunteers have two days off per week. During their free time, volunteers can discover Cork city, a friendly and vibrant city with many festivals and cultural events taking place all year round. They can also visit some the many attractions that County Cork has to offer or explore the Wild Atlantic Way which starts in Kinsale, located only 30 min from Cork.


Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Criminal Background Check
Required Documents
CV, medical certificate and criminal background check
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Flexible, adaptable, willing to get your hands dirty, enjoying outdoor and physical work, enjoying community living in simple conditions.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 09:00 - 16:00

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if CTL Ireland cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by CTL Ireland.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
CTL Ireland (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by CTL Ireland

Cost Includes:

  • Pick up in Cork airport
  • 1st night in hostel shared accommodation in Cork city
  • Orientation day with CTL Ireland staff
  • Transfer to project
  • Welcome Dinner
  • All Meals from day 2
  • Accommodation at project (shared bedroom)
  • Ongoing support from project mentor
  • Assistance and back up support from CTL Ireland staff
  • 24/7 emergency support

Return transfer not included.

Airport Pickup at Cork Airport

Pick up is included for participants arriving in Cork airport. Participants arriving in another airport will be provided with all necessary information.


On their first night, volunteers are staying in a hostel in Cork city (dorm room). From day 2, volunteers are living on the project facilities. Volunteers live on the farm in the basement of the main house which is a large period house (Georgian style). Volunteers will share a room with other volunteers living there. The living conditions are simple and basic. Male and Female rooms are separate. 

All heating is from the wood-burning stoves. Therefore, if a hot shower is desired, one must learn how to build a fire and keep it burning throughout the day. A wood-burning sauna is also present on the farm. When a volunteer arrives, the first thing they must learn is how to light and keep a fire/stove going, as their comfort here will depend on it (especially in the winter). They will be shown how to perform all tasks asked of them and are encouraged to ask questions if they do not understand. There is an Internet connection and wi-fi available at the house. However, the connection is not always reliable and live communication through the Internet (e.g. Skype) can often be challenging. 

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages
A communal kitchen is used where volunteers are responsible for preparing their own meals together. Food is provided by the project. Shopping is done once a week for commodities that cannot be provided by the farm. The project does not buy chocolate, sweets, toiletries, alcohol, cigarettes, or anything other than the basic requirements.
Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Cork Airport (ORK) in Cork. We assist you to find cheap flights to Ireland.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Ireland provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Ireland you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Ireland.
Costs: Prices in USD
3 weeks (min. stay)
$ 1,695
4 weeks
$ 1,795
5 weeks
$ 1,895
6 weeks
$ 2,055
7 weeks
$ 2,165
8 weeks
$ 2,295
10 weeks
$ 2,535
12 weeks
$ 2,755
14 weeks
$ 2,995
16 weeks
$ 3,215
20 weeks
$ 3,695
24 weeks (max. stay)
$ 4,135
Average fees
$ 369 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Coachford/Ireland between 3 weeks and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. CTL Ireland will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Ireland.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with CTL Ireland during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Europe Northern Europe Ireland  Coachford, Leades House

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